Members of Central Washington University men’s rugby team are mourning the death of teammate Craig Stafford, who died suddenly on December 31, 2011 at his home in Longview, WA.
Stafford, a 2007 graduate of Mark Morris High School, recently returned from a three-month study abroad trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he participated in intensive Spanish language study. Stafford had been excited about his study abroad trip to Argentina in part, because it is a rugby-playing country.
Stafford, a senior at Central, was a four-year member of the CWU men’s rugby team. Accompanied by a number of his former rugby teammates, CWU men’s rugby coaches Bob Ford and Tony Pacheco were among those who attended a funeral mass and celebration of life for Stafford on Friday, January 6, at St. Rose Church in Longview, at which time they delivered a posthumous diploma to the family.
Stafford, 23, has been granted a posthumous Bachelor of Arts in Law and Justice from Central Washington University. The degree was authorized and approved by CWU Provost/Vice President for Academic and Student Life Marilyn Levine, and Kirk Johnson, dean, College of the Sciences.
“Craig had never played rugby before he came here, but he is the type of player that defines what rugby is as a sport,” said Ford. “He worked hard, had a kind heart, gave of himself, and was a true teammate that enjoyed his time at Central and with the rugby team.”